Essay on Thinking: (it’s Types and Forms)!
Meaning of Thinking:
Human being is considered as a rational being because he/she is capable of thinking and reasoning. His superiority over other animals in learning and adjustment lies in his/her capacity for better thinking.
In a broad sense, thinking includes all forms of cognitions, perceptions, imagination, memory and conception. Sometimes the term thinking is used to mean the process of problem solving.
Generally thinking occurs when we are confronted with a problem which demands solution or it occurs when something goes wrong with or around us. When everything is smooth the chances of thinking are rare.
Whittakar defines that “thinking is a complex cognitive forms of behaviour which occurs only at relatively advanced stage of development when simpler and more direct methods of dealing with the environment have proved ineffective”.
In simple terms thinking may be defined as a ‘sequential arousal of symbols’, i.e. the symbols of objects, words or concepts flow in the mind in an order, one after another. Thinking consists of the cognitive rearrangement or manipulation of both information from the environment and the symbols stored in long-term memory.
A symbol represents or stands for some event or item in the world. Generally images and language symbols are used in much of our thinking. Hence, it may be stated that thinking is an organised, systematic, and purposeful and goal oriented activity.
Types of Thinking:
There are two types of thinking:
I. Autistic thinking:
This is otherwise called free-floating thinking. This is more common among children. It is away from reality. There are no restrictions of reality or of time and space. It is not goal oriented or problem oriented.
Generally such thinking will be highly private and the individual may use symbols with very personal meanings. Individual’s personal wants are involved in this kind of thinking and he tries to fulfill them.
Autistic thinking will be in many forms:
It is otherwise called day dreaming, i.e. dreaming in an awaken state. It is like building castles in the air. In such dreaming we imagine things or situations as we want, not as they are. That is how we will be able to fulfill those wants which cannot be fulfilled in reality.
Even the impossible things become possible. For example, a cattle boy grazing cattle in a field may dream as though he is travelling in an aero plane. A young adult may dream to become a famous hero, etc.
The individual may find some pleasure or relief from tension temporarily by fantasy. But too much of day dreaming may make him incapable of facing reality.
Sigmund Freud has stated that the dreams are wish fulfillments. Our desires which are not fulfilled in reality appear in the form of dreams and get fulfilled. There are no restrictions for ideas appearing in the dreams. They may appear directly or in disguise form.
Imagination is a mental activity in which we make use of images. In the process of imagination we will not be having sense perception. We will not be in touch with reality; we will have only mental images. Hence, we may go wrong in our thinking.
This is also like fantasy. In fantasy we will have some ideas and goals, but in reverie, there will be no ideas at all. Mind will be floating freely and any and everything may come to mind and go away.
II. Controlled thinking:
It is otherwise called directed thinking. It is aimed at solving problems or creating something new. Here we regulate the process of thinking. Our thoughts will be in touch with reality and the thinking will be goal directed.
Forms of Controlled Thinking:
This is also a kind of thinking. It is defined as a “process of arriving at a new judgement on the basis of one or more judgments as premises”. In reasoning there will be checking and rechecking of the conclusions arrived at, based on certain facts or data.
Reasoning is of two types:
i. Inductive reasoning:
In this kind of reasoning there is a shift from individual to the universal; in the sense that, generalization is made on the basis of a series of individual experiences regarding a particular thing. So the conclusion drawn is wider than premises. For example, we arrive at a conclusion that all politicians are selfish after seeing many politicians.
ii. Deductive reasoning:
In deductive reasoning we shift from universal to the particular and the conclusion drawn is narrower than the premises. For example, all actresses are beautiful. So the actress that I see also must be beautiful.
Generally in reasoning logical principles are applied to our thinking. It will be most directed towards getting at certain conclusions and inferences.
A problem is any conflict or difference between one situation and another situation we wish to produce our goal. The thinking that we do in problem solving is thus goal directed and motivated by the need to reduce the discrepancy between one state of affair and another. In trying to reach the goal of problem solution, we use information available to us from long-term memory.
Problem solving can be done by trial and error or by insight.
John Deway has suggested a scientific method of problem solving which follows the following procedure:
(a) Identification of the problem,
(b) Defining the problem,
(c) Collection of relevant data,
(d) Formulation of hypothesis,
(e) Evaluation of hypothesis,
(f) Verification of derived conclusions.